Natural avalanche activity is likely beginning today. Low visibility and stormy conditions will make assessment challenging until after the storm.
Numerous natural slab avalanches were observed this week, likely occurring 1/25 to 1/28, 1-2′ deep, up to D2 in size, failing on new snow/old snow interface, West > North > East, in elevations band 4,000′ to 4800′. See observation and PICS here.
Numerous natural dry loose sluffs were observed this week with 7-9.5″ of new, low density snow, the majority of which accumulated on 1/28, on all aspects, on slopes above 40º. Many of the loose dry avalanches occurred during the 1/28 storm, with more natural activity on 1/31 with the first direct solar gain on the new snow.
On2/1 – On the northern side of Friendship pass near Dog Sled Pass, a human triggered slab avalanche was reported on a NW aspect, 35-38º slope, 4700′, D1.5. One person was caught and carried, partially buried to their chest, no injuries. 2 pictures below.
A change in the weather pattern which started late last night and will continue through Monday is bringing a substantial snow storm to Hatcher Pass.
As of 3 pm today 7-8” of new snow has accumulated at the IM Snotel site at 3550’. Expect snow totals at upper elevations to be higher, possibly up to 12” so far.
Up to 2 feet of new snow is forecasted for Hatcher Pass by Monday morning.
The Marmot weather station at 4500’ is currently showing Southeast to South wind speeds strong enough to transport snow and build wind slabs on leeward, Northwest to North, aspects. Sustained winds are forecasted overnight.
NWS Rec Forecast HERE
NWS point forecast HERE
State Parks Snow Report and Motorized Access information HERE
A warming snow storm, new snow and wind will all contribute to increasing the avalanche hazard today through Monday.